News & Updates
Fire Safety: A Summer Skill for Sedona and Beyond
Wildfires pose an increasing risk in our outdoor areas, and Sedona is no exception. Not only can these fires impact the areas we visit, but they can also destroy the communities that surround them. Fire season can be any season, but as we gear up for summer travels, it is important to keep fire safety in mind.
Know the Restrictions
Starting on May 26, 2022, the Coconino National Forest implemented stage 2 fire restrictions. While under these restrictions, it is unsafe and illegal to build, maintain, attend, or use a fire, campfire, or stove fire, including charcoal, coal, and briquettes.
But fire danger is not limited to campfires, and neither are fire restrictions. These restrictions also limit smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of any
flammable material. It is also unsafe and illegal to blast, weld, or operate any acetylene or other torch with an open flame.
These restrictions are commonly in place and are likely to last the entirety of the summer, but it is always important to check the current conditions before your visit. You can find out more about the current fire restrictions on the Coconino National Forest website.
Have An Alternative
Because it is likely having a fire won’t be safe or allowed, it’s important to have alternatives. Plan meals that won’t need to be cooked over a campfire, and bring other evening activities like cards or games. Headlamps and lanterns are always a good idea, and having additional warm layers will keep everyone comfortable in the cooler evenings.
Stay Close By
If you happen to visit when fire restrictions are not in place, that does not mean you are in the clear. It is still important to practice safe fire techniques. One of the most important of these is never leaving a fire unattended and keeping water on hand. It doesn’t take much for a fire to get out of control, so it is important to always have eyes on it. Leaving the campsite or going to bed? It’s time to put the fire completely out.Drown It Out
How do you know if a fire is completely out? The ashes should be cool to the touch. To get there, you will need to drown the fire in water, stir, and repeat. Doing this a few times and checking for hot spots will ensure the fire is completely out and won’t reignite after you leave.
Fire safety is a critical component of any trip, no matter the time or place. The Sedona Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Leave No Trace to ensure visitors to Sedona and beyond understand safe fire practices. Our outdoor areas need us to take these steps to ensure they remain healthy, open, and accessible for years to come.
Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together
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